• Court: Justice Dept. does not have to disclose legal memo justifying targeted killing of U.S. citizens

    Judge Colleen McMahon on Wednesday refused to order the Justice Department to disclose a memorandum which provided the legal justification for the targeted killing on September 2011 of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen; al-Awlaki, a fervent jihadi cleric, was killed in Yemen by a CIA drone

  • Report says regulation of foreign student program is deficient

    The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a subset of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security, oversees nearly 1.2 million foreign students and their dependents, plus close to 7,000 educational institutions; an new report finds that SEVP rarely exercises its enforcement authority

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  • President Obama signs private bill giving Nigerian student U.S. residency

    President Barack Obama granted a Nigerian immigrant his wish, signing a rare private bill into law granting the immigrant permanent residency in the United States; Victor Chukwueke came to the United States eleven years ago to undergo treatment for massive facial tumors, and stayed, on an expired visa, to graduate from Wayne State University; he wants to attend medical school, but in order to do so he needed a green card

  • Broader background checks, denial criteria may help prevent mass-shooting catastrophes

    Garen Wintemute, a leading authority on gun violence prevention and an emergency medicine physician at the University of California, Davis, believes broader criteria for background checks and denials on gun purchases can help prevent future firearm violence, including mass shooting catastrophes such as those that occurred at Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, and Columbine

  • Morsi signs decree putting new Egypt’s constitution into effect

    Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi signed a decree Monday putting into effect Egypt’s just-approved constitution; Morsi signed the decree after two rounds of a referendum in which the voters approved the document by a nearly 2 to 1 ratio

  • Major surveillance law heading toward its own end-of-year cliff

    While coverage of the tense negotiations over a resolution to the fiscal cliff threat has dominated the media, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments of 2008 is heading for a cliff of its own, as the provisions of the act are set to expire at the end of the year

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  • Is stricter gun-control legislation more likely after Newtown shooting?

    An American politics professor, specializing in the relationship between public opinion and legislation, says that the relationship between mass shooting and gun-control legislation is not straightforward;thus, there was a spike in support for gun control after Columbine, but not after the Virginia Tech, Tucson, or Aurora shootings; “The Newtown shooting is different than those shootings in some respects, especially because many of the victims were young children. But the magnitude of this tragedy may not be sufficient to produce stricter gun-control legislation at the federal level”

  • Divisive constitution appears to have been ratified in referendum

    Unofficial results, reported by Egypt’s state media, from Saturday’s first-round vote in the constitutional referendum show that the Islamist-backed draft constitution passed by about 56 percent of the vote in ten of Egypt’s twenty-seven provinces; the result in the first round may not be seen as a sweeping mandate, but the second round promises the Islamists a larger majority: the first round included many of Egypt’s big cities, such as Cairo and Alexandria, where the anti-Islamist groups are powerful; the second round will take place mostly in rural provinces, where the Brotherhood’s influence is much stronger

  • Technology transfer from U.S. federal laboratories to private entities, other governments

    In 2010 the eleven U.S. federal laboratories had more than 18,000 active collaborative relationships with private entities and other government agencies, disclosed more than 4,700 inventions, submitted 1,830 patent applications, and received 1,143 patents

  • Morsi searches for way out of Egypt’s political crisis as opposition to power grab intensifies

    Last week, Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi issued a decree which said that no authority could revoke presidential decisions; the decree also bars judges from dissolving the assembly which is now engaged in drawing up a new constitution; the decree authorized the president to take any measures to preserve the revolution, national unity, or safeguard national security; leaders from across the political spectrum charged the decree betrayed the popular revolution which toppled Hosni Mubarak, and turned Morsi into a “new Pharaoh”; some leaders of the secular opposition implied that they would prefer to see the military seize power from the  Muslim Brotherhood

  • U.S. skies may soon be open to drones

    Unmanned drones are cheaper than manned aircraft and can be used in a variety of ways, such as assessing environmental threats and damage from natural disaster, tracking criminals trying to escape on a highway, and assessing wildfires; according to an FAA prediction, 30,000 drones could be flying in the United States in less than twenty years; lawmakers and privacy advocates want the use of these drones more tightly regulated

  • New Georgia immigration bill makes state health professionals feel the pain

    Starting in January 2012, a Georgia House bill required health employees to prove their citizenship or legal residency when they apply for or renew a professional license; the bill has licensing administrators tied up in knots as understaffed offices cannot keep up with the deluge of new paperwork and increased responsibility

  • Jill Kelly’s FBI friend helped launch the investigation, then tipped lawmakers

    Jill Kelly, a Petraeus family friend, was warned in a series of anonymous e-mails not to get too close to CIA director David Petraeus; Kelly contacted a friend who worked in the FBI Tampa office, and he persuaded the agency cyber squad to investigate; in late October, fearing that FBI director Robert Muller would sweep the investigation’s results under the rug, he contacted Rep. David Reichert (R-Washington), who, in turn, alerted the majority whip,  Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia);  the Tampa agent is now under investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, the internal-affairs arm of the FBI

  • Supreme Court to hear police DNA-collection case

    The United States Supreme Court last week granted certiorari in Maryland v. King; in the case, Maryland law enforcement stands to lose the right to require a DNA collection as part of booking procedures for certain felony crimes; a similar law was passed by Congress in 2004 for federal arrests, and twenty-four other state legislatures have also passed such laws

  • DREAM Act could generate billions for U.S. economy

    A new study estimates that passing the DREAM Act would contribute $329 billion to the U.S. economy by 2030, or $18 billion a year; under the act, illegal immigrants would be able to go to school, work legally, obtain professional licenses, and enjoy other benefits, which will see them earn more, pay more in taxes, and consume more goods and services